window rebates in Canada

Everything You Need to Know About Window Rebates

ByHarison Pyykko December 2, 2020

The government is initiating steps to combat the effects of global warming. At the same time, it is encouraging Canadians to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. In line with their efforts, it is implementing incentive programs that will encourage homeowners to adopt energy-saving measures such as government window rebates. It is a known fact that windows and doors are vital in maintaining the energy efficiency of homes. Window rebates can be availed when homeowners upgrade their windows to energy-efficient designs such as Energy Star. The government initiatives are also encouraging utility companies to contribute their efforts. FortisBC, major electricity and natural gas distribution utility in the province of British Columbia, offers its Fortis Windows Rebates. The Fortis Rebates is one of many opportunities consumers can enjoy when they can meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

How to Maximize Your Window Rebates

Many programs offer incentives to homeowners to upgrade their windows to more efficient units. However, an energy assessment of your home before and after the upgrades, as well as other upgrades, may be needed as a qualification for the incentives. Take note of these instructions to ensure a smooth process to avail of window rebates.
  • Keep your assessment records and other files up to date. In some programs, you may be required a record of your pre-upgrade assessment that includes recommended upgrades, a list of work completed, and a copy of the post-upgrade assessment before you qualify for a rebate.
  • Make sure your property is eligible. Upgrade of your vacation home or cottage may or may not be eligible for the rebate.
  • Keep your original receipts. Some incentives require that you present the original receipt and product number of your windows.
  • Keep your retailer invoice that contains detailed information such as the type and number, brand and manufacturer of windows bought, where they are installed, and installation date.
  • Make sure your windows meet the requirements. Each rebate program may have different specific requirements and may list the eligible windows for you to choose from.
  • Most of the rebate programs cover not just windows but other structures, appliances, and systems affecting energy usage.

Government Window Rebates

Called Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Green Home Program, it is a federal government window rebates program. By using CMHC-insured financing, you could get a 15% rebate for building a home to meet Energy Star standards or up to 25% rebate for a home built to R-2000 building standards. If you installed eligible windows as part of your new build or bought a house that included energy-efficient windows and at the same time renovated your current home using financing from CMHC, you could qualify for the rebate. The government window rebates program cascades to the different provinces. They are not just called differently by names. These programs vary in terms of the extent of their benefits, and specific eligibility requirements. One province may have several complementary programs for specific sectors. As an example, Alberta has the Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Rebate Program for new windows and other energy-efficient appliances, Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Program (SHARP) loan program catering to seniors for energy efficiency projects including windows, and additional energy-saving rebate program including window replacement for Banff residents. As it will be difficult to discuss the details of all window rebates programs in all the ten provinces, we’re focusing on British Columbia window rebates and Fortis rebates to guide Kelowna residents.

BC Window Rebates

BC’s Home Renovation Rebate Program requires three or more eligible energy-efficient upgrades to your home including Energy Star windows and doors for you to get a $750 rebate. You need to replace at least 65% of your windows and/or doors plus two more upgrades. You should be using electricity or natural gas as primary heating fuel for the home and you must be a current Fortis BC or BC Hydro residential customer. You should provide a minimum of 12 months' history of your utility. You are required to live in an eligible home and should complete pre-and post-retrofit EnerGuide home evaluation with a qualified energy advisor. You are given up to 36 months after accomplishing your pre-upgrade evaluation to complete your eligible upgrades and apply for the $750 bonus. For those who do not qualify, you can avail of the option for low-interest financing energy-efficient upgrades throughout BC through The City of Nelson EcoSave Energy Retrofits Program, RBC Energy Saver™ Loan, or Vancity Energy Saver™ Loan.

Fortis Window Rebates

Fortis rebates you for home renovation for windows and doors up to $5,000. You can get a $50 rebate per tier 1 window, or for a limited time, get a $200 rebate per tier 2 window or exterior door. The Fortis window rebates program also offers rebates upon the installation of Energy Star certified doors and windows. You can be eligible for up to $2,300 in bonus rebates if you have two or more high-efficiency upgrades such as windows and doors, insulation, space, and water heating, or fireplaces. With this, you can also save $300 on an EnerGuide home evaluation. Fortis window rebates program is the utility company’s initiative in support of the government’s all-embracing program. You can apply online for the Fortis rebate if you meet the requirements and the terms and conditions of the program.

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